Rediscovering yourself – self empowerment 101

Rediscovering myself

Yourself, or as here, myself. This will be a long, rambling post. This is primarily for my benefit, to find my center again and where I need to be in life to heal. If you get something out of it, great. If you see this as blowing my own trumpet, that’s good too. The only thing is the trumpet is over 20 years old, the brass has turned green, I’ve forgotten how to play and I’m quite sure there’s a dead mouse down the tube!

I have huge gaps in my memory, often years at a stretch are blank. Some were blank until various counsellors and psychologists and psychiatrists started helping me over the past few years. I buried some of those memories for a reason! All to the good I suppose. I may have buried them, but they where still there, rotting my heart, body and soul. Hence this post and the others like it I am doing to sort my life out.

Back in the day

I was already having problems with depression by this time, but a character analysis of mine from 1989 included the following levels of interest:

Arts 47%
Science 38%
Languages 53%
Computer Science 42%
Natural Science 67%

My notes for the time concluded I would be happiest doing something like working for the forestry commission, but as this was now impractical I should follow a career in computers and languages.

Despite how much more withdrawn I’ve in the past 20 years my interests, though muted to the point of annihilation, still include computers, languages, science, games, natural history, literature and arts, notably photography.

As I’ve just rejoined Mensa after a long break (of co-incidentally 20 years) I’ll go see what newsletters they have and sign up for them, start moving my life today!

Arts & Literature, Computing, Craft, Creative Writing, Games, Humour, Languages, Professional writing, puzzles, science, science fiction and a few others. That’ll keep my mind busy at least.

Even further back

Not sure on the date of this but it was from back when I knew myself, or at least though I did, perhaps! From the typing* it was from when I saw doing my HNC Chemistry – so about 1908. Umm, no 1980.
*(I recognise the dodgy ribbon, half my assignments were in red and black because the dual tone ribbon jumped on certain letters).

Self Help books to put on the top of the list.

*** Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

How to cash in on your abilities by Dora Albert

Laws of Success by Napoleon Hill

Magic Power of Your Mind by Walter M. Germain

Secrets of the Supraconscious. New ways to unlock the mind by Walter M Germain

Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill

Given my current state it’s hard to believe now how dynamic and go get I used to be. I let myself get in this state, I have to move on, say a few goodbyes and get on with my life – while I still have one. Think I actually did buy most of those books. Will have to search them out.

Found these quotes too. I know there’s lots of web sites full of quotes but these are hand copied from books from before the Internet so have more meaning for me.

“Success is the child of audacity” ~ Disreali

“In all matters one must consider the end” ~ La Fontaine

“A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” ~ Bacon

“No-one knows what he can do until he tries” ~ Publilius Syrus

“A minute’s success pays the failure of years” ~ Browning

“Cheerfulness in doing renders a deed more acceptable” ~ Fuller

“Those who make the worst use of their time are the first to complain of its brevity” ~ La Bruyere

“No labour is difficult if you wish to do it” ~ St. Jerome

“If it wasn’t for the last-minute, a lot of things wouldn’t get done.” ~ Trayler

“Seize the present, trust the future as little as you may” ~ Horace

“I have nothing to declare but my genius” ~ Oscar Wilde

“Borrow not too much on time to come” ~ Fuller

I believe this next one is mine, which shows how far I’ve fallen!

“You are what you are
You are what you make yourself
Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail
Be what you have it within yourself to be.”

Lost dreams

I can’t seem to find it anywhere but I used to have a list of things I wanted to do. Some of the things I’ve done and – incredibly – completely forgotten. For instance, I always wanted to speak seven languages. I know I did French, Spanish and some Portuguese at college and also studied Italian, Latin and others, but I’ve forgotten it all completely. Even learnt a little Arabic during a long spell in hospital. Forgot that too, but that was a struggle to learn.

Not quite the same, but I also picked up several computer languages (C, Assembly, COBOL, Basic, VB, LISP, HTML, PHP etc.) Forgot almost all of those too. Even struggle with xHTML some days! This is actually not terribly positive given I’ve lost all that knowledge, but this time I WILL get and keep my head straightened and relearn them all, or at least the ones I need.

I’ve decided that I am going to become fluent in one language a year and take a holiday or two in that particularly country, so Paris next year, maybe Rome the next and so forth.

Heh, one thing I’ve remembered is I always used to douse my leather jackets with patchouli oil. :D

Old school report. All good there at least :)

Paul applied himself well to his studies, but particularly in Science subjects in which he had a special interest. A quiet, well-mannered and co-operative boy he successfully carried out the duties of Prefect during his last year at School. Throughout his time at St. Joseph’s he has shown himself to be most reliable and trustworthy, qualities I am sure he would continue to display as an employee.

Here’s another positive memory, of the Ripley’s ‘Believe it or Not’ variety. I’ve no evidence myself though I’m sure there’s a few people with photo’s…

I was the first person ever to share the stage with comedian Jasper Carrott!

Jasper Carrot at the Liverpool Empire

No, really, I was, he told me so himself. I wasn’t actually part of the act, I was in the front row watching the show at the Liverpool Empire during his 1980 tour and there was a problem with the sound and some people couldn’t hear a thing. Anyway, he shouts up to the wings “Come down on stage then” They didn’t – but I quite happily did and sat in his seat grinning and offering comments on material.*

*As well as a fan, I studied him for my ‘A’ level English Language project. Should copy that up here too.
(Thus: Jasper Carrott – Driven to Distraction by his Mother-in-Law)

I’m a writer too!

Letter to me from Sir Ian Livingstone

In the 80’s I wrote a couple of books for Ian Livingstone and Puffin. Note I said wrote and not that I had them published. I did rewrite them a couple of times though I never actually got them good enough to be printed. Still, I did get to meet him and Steve Jackson and got some positive feedback from Sir Ian at the time. Some time in the coming months I will type them up and put them on the site. (Maybe, One day!)

This was in the box with the manuscripts too. From the wording I’d say I copied it from somewhere but it’s apt so I’ll type it in, with apologies to the original author.

“Help the reader draw a mental picture by introducing sight, sound, smell, touch and taste to your copy. Be precise.

You will have to complete at least four drafts to make sure that your work is as thorough, concise, correct and readable as you can make it.

(Fiction books)
Are the times and locations of my story always clear?
Are my characters memorable and do they have distinct personalities?
Have any of my characters been lost in the manuscript?
Is there a strong conflict that continues to build interest?
Does the story entertain?”

I used to write a lot of puzzles for Mensa too and for magazines in general. While sorting through boxes I’ve found a quiz I wrote for Practical Photography in ’84. I’ll put those in later too.

That will do for now, I think. I’ve a load of positive affirmations I can type up for another post tomorrow, assuming I can read my handwriting ok.

The point is this:

Even with depression, every moment, every day, you have choice: you can sink into it and bury yourself, or look for a way out, however small, however trivial, whether it’s a walk, listening to bird song as dawn breaks, or just cleaning the bathroom with a toothbrush. Doesn’t have to be much, doesn’t have to give you hope, just enough to lift you that tiny bit, get you through another day and really there’s a path out of darkness, however faint the trail.

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